Hi, this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…The High Cost of Building Materials

Have you been to a Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy any building materials lately? The cost of nearly every kind of material necessary for home construction has gone through the roof! I was at the home center the other day and what almost causes me more dismay than anything else is how much I sound like an old man when I am there. “This never used to cost this much!” “In my day you could get these for a song” or the best one, “There was a day they couldn’t give these things away!” Yep, all I have to do is stroll through the lumber department and I sound like the old guy I am becoming faster than I want to admit. In all seriousness though, I don’t know how people afford to build a house in this day and age. There is one building material however that has always cost more than you or I will probably ever fully grasp.

Ephesians 2:19-22 in the New King James Version says: Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

I often lean on the old economics definition of value to illustrate our worth to God. In Economics 101 every student is given the following definition of value: The value of a thing is determined by what a willing buyer will give a willing seller. If someone is willing to pay a certain price for something and the owner of that thing is willing to accept that price, then the value of that thing is determined in that agreement. This paradigm is also represented in our relationship with God. John 3:16 tells us that God (the willing buyer) loved the whole world so much that He gave His Only Son to die in our place (the offered price) so that we could live eternally with Him. Accepting His gift as offered; Lordship of our lives (we become the willing seller). When we accept His offer and give our lives to Him, we also accept His determination of our value. We are worth more to God than the life of His One and Only Son. He was willing to buy us at that high a price to do what the scripture referenced above says…He wants to use us as building material to construct a holy house for Him to live in. Talk about high construction costs!

When I buy materials from the home center if I get them home and find they are not perfect, I immediately become frustrated. I love the fact that this scripture points out that there are no second class citizens in God’s kingdom. There may be some who are more mature than I, there are some who may not struggle with the same things I do, but none of us are perfect. It is not our current condition that determines our acceptance by the Builder, it is our faith in Jesus Christ. The fact that we have accepted that He is Lord and have aligned ourselves with Him, that is what determines our usefulness to Him. In Him we are completely accepted just as we are…but He has incredible plans to construct something perfect of our lives! As members of His household, and citizens of His kingdom we are called His building blocks, or living stones being fashioned into a home for the very Spirit of God! We make ourselves available to His plans through the instruction of His word and relying on Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone to keep us straight and true.

A few years ago I fulfilled a lifelong dream of building a house from foundation to roofline. After the site was leveled and the footers dug and poured, arguably the most important task of the entire Job commenced. The corner blocks for the foundation had to be laid to be built upon. When they were set correctly, the rest of the foundation could be completed. The placement of the first of those corners was critical. If it were not right, nothing else would be either. The foundation had to be true for the walls to go up straight. If the foundation was off, even the roof shingles would have ended up askew. The entire integrity of the house was dependent upon a firm and true foundation.

1 Peter 2:6-7 in the New Living Translation says; And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple. What’s more, you are His holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.”

Jesus is the chief cornerstone. He is that first and all-important building block for us…His church. As living stones, we have only one purpose, to get into, and stay in line with the Cornerstone, so that the results of our lives can be full of His integrity. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior He also must become our Lord, and that means we must fit into His building plans where He tells us to. With Him as Lord that leaves us only one thing to be…willing servants.

So now, understanding we are among the costliest of building materials, live a life that is straight, and true, safely in line with The Cornerstone, and go be awesome!